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North Pinellas Good For You for Sunday, Sept. 15

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Synovus Bank of Florida, a division of Synovus Bank, recently pledged $25,000 to the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater to provide financial support for homeless and low-income individuals in Pinellas County. The funds will be distributed in installments of $5,000 each year over the next five years.

Synovus Bank of Florida's president and chief executive officer Dominic DiMaio, accompanied by several bank representatives, presented the first check to board members and employees of HEP, which serves about 2,000 individuals, families and veterans each year.

"We are incredibly grateful to have Synovus Bank of Florida as an ally in breaking the cycle of homelessness," said Barb Green, HEP's president and CEO. "We greatly appreciate their pledge to help us succeed in our mission. By donating to our general operating fund, they allow us the freedom to allocate the necessary support to the programs of the greatest need, which changes on a year to year basis."

Following the check presentation, the Synovus Bank team was shown around the 8-acre property at 1120 N Betty Lane.

"The campus tour allowed us to witness firsthand the large number of adults and children who are currently utilizing HEP's services," said DiMaio. "We were immediately inspired to take advantage of Corporate Volunteer Day opportunities that HEP offers to the business community and are looking forward to serving others."

Over the years, Synovus Bank has donated more than $75,000 to HEP, including financial contributions to the HEP endowment, the Children's Learning Center, general operating expenses and HEP's annual Otis C. Green Memorial Golf Tournament.

• • •

GTE Foundation awards scholarships: The GTE Foundation Scholarship Program awarded a total of $60,000 to 24 local high school and undergraduate students at a recent luncheon hosted by GTE Financial.

The event was attended by recipients of the $2,500 scholarships and their families, GTE Financial's executive management team, members of GTE Financial's board of directors and the scholarship judging committee.

More than 500 students applied for the scholarships this year and GTE's selection emphasis was on students' community engagement, volunteerism and academic achievements.

"Through the generous support of our first annual Scholarship Scramble golf tournament in April of this year, the GTE Foundation was able to present scholarships to 24 very deserving member-students this year — twice as many as last year," said Joe Brancucci, GTE Financial president and CEO. "We're also grateful to have had such a stellar judging panel again this year."

The selection committee included 14 bay area business and education leaders: Diana Baker, United Way Suncoast president; Brad Baumgardner, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs; Scott Beasley, University of South Florida's chairman of the finance department; Bruce Faulmann, Tampa Bay Times vice president of sales and marketing; Richard George, Junior Achievement Tampa Bay president; Brad Hines, GTE's chairman of the board and attorney in private practice; Rick Homans, Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation president; Rhea Law, CEO of Fowler White Boggs, P.A. and USF board of trustees member; Bridgette Mill, Tampa Bay Business Journal president and publisher; Leroy Moore, Tampa Housing Authority COO; Al Najjar, Glazer Children's Museum president and CEO; Shawn Robinson, Hillsborough Community College Ybor City president; Doris Seckman, GTE Financial board of directors member; and Vincent Valentine, INROADS regional director.

The GTE Foundation Scholarship program accepts applications from graduating high school seniors and undergraduate college students who are GTE Financial members, and awards are made annually.

For this year's scholarship winners and more information on the GTE Foundation and its scholarship program, visit

Mail Good For You items to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email

North Pinellas Good For You for Sunday, Sept. 15 09/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 13, 2013 6:10pm]
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